USA Today Editorial Draws Fire from NCGA

Author wants foods using high fructose corn syrup taxed at higher rate.

Published on: Oct 16, 2009

A story in USA Today has the attention of the National Corn Growers Association. The story asserts that products containing high fructose corn syrup should be taxed at a higher rate than other food products. Apparently, the idea is seen as being one way to fight obesity. But, NCGA stresses the importance of a balanced approach and personal responsibility. Among other things, NCGA President Darrin Ihnen, a grower from Hurley, South Dakota, says the story attempts to convince consumers to eschew any type of personal responsibility.


Ihnen says the article relies on faulty information and draws irresponsible conclusions. For example, Ihnen explained that 95% of all corn farms in the U.S. are family farms and not the faceless industrial operations which many would prefer to criticize. Hence, attacks against corn are actually direct attacks on the hard working growers who act as guardians of a proud tradition of American farming and provide the U.S. with some of the highest quality, most affordable food in the world.


NCGA says moderation and exercise play an important role in combating the obesity epidemic. Ihnen noted that corn sweetener, like all sugars, is healthy in moderation and concluded that, while a punitive tax may seem a simpler solution, it does not produce healthy, responsible adults.